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Divorce/Separation :
Kids want to go to Dad’s house

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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:36 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

There are a number of schedules that can work out well. Our son is on a 2-5-5-2 schedule. (After the first week, that morphs into 5-5-2-2-5-5-2-2, etc.)

I strongly suggest finding a good D lawyer to find out your rights, obligations, likely settlement, and other implications of D with your location's family court judges.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27435   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8739362
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movingonward ( new member #78412) posted at 6:49 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

No not a troll. Giving my point of view on being a single dad who had to fight like hell for 50/50 custody and I’ve seen far too many posts bashing single dads.

I didn’t read the backstory, no need to. I’m sure we have one thing in common for all of us being on this site. Yes, I was also the victim of my ex wife’s infidelity. It doesn’t make me a different dad.

Obviously, you don’t want my opinion of what he may be going through trying to adjust. Believe me, I’m over the pain and hurt. I do realize though that it’s still fresh for some.

I, too, apologize if I came on too strong.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8739376
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 7:31 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

At first I let our children go to Dads all the time! Then he and ow started telling people I was pawning the kids off on him, that obviously I wasn’t a good parent bc I wanted my weekends free-but I was trying to let my kids have time with their dad. He started telling my kids this!!!!!!! My friends (and SI) helped me to realize he and OW were not good role models to let my children be around so much. That they needed my influence-and they needed to create memories with me on the weekends! My atty said I could have a hard time if he wanted full custody bc how could I say they were better being raised by me, if they were at Dads all the time?

Set your boundaries (which he has probably trampled down over the years) and after you get custody, then you can be flexible. But honestly my kids wanted to stay home sometimes and needed me to say it was my decision that they stay home on my weekends bc they didn’t like disappointing their Dad.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 3:19 AM, Monday, June 20th]

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5427   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8739384
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:00 PM on Friday, June 10th, 2022

How do you all deal with when the kids want to go to the other’s house?

You put on your bestest smile, make sure they are all pack and ready when it is trade off time, tell them you love them and to have a great time.

Now when they go - then you can cry.

When they come back and want to share about their great time...you put on that smile again, listen and nod and say "I am so glad you had a wonderful time". Because you want to build an environment where they do not feel bad about leaving or or telling you about all the fun stuff they did. I know it hurts like heck - but you definitely want to keep that communication line open. So I would try to focus on that long term when you feel like your heart was just kicked.

You are very early in the process and it is hard and just stinks.

Lets focus on the good:
- Your DSs are actually happy and excited to go. This is good. It would be way worse (really, it would) if they hated to go and you had to put crying/screaming children into a vehicle to go somewhere they hated.
- Children are very flexible and able to handle/understand different rules at different houses. However, I found Sunday evenings were sort of an emotional transition when my children were little and going to their father's.
- Your children are blessed with a co-parent that is actually involved and is taking them as much as he can (per his work schedule).

Try to plan something for YOU to look forward to during their times with their father but do not overpack your time. I made that mistake at first. I thought jam-packing my alone time would take the hurt away. It did not. What I needed was a good balance of 'something fun to do' and time dedicated to just mental/emotion me (vegging out or whatever works for you).

Definitely work with your attorney to set up an official schedule with what works for you and your children. Many folks work unconventional hours or have professions that require extensive travel so work with what you have.

posts: 6753   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8739542
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 1:53 AM on Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Only thing to add/emphasize is to document, document, document.
I suggest creating a gmail account that you use to email (yourself) all the silly things STBX does, including WRT the kids.
No emotion. No "I can’t believe that jerk…." Just the FACTS.
Eg, Billy came home from dads. Had not had a bath and returned wearing same (now dirty) clothes he wore when dad picked him up.
Dad didn’t do laundry, but did send Billy home with a bag of dirty clothes, including soiled underpants. Billy said dad told him it was ok, that mom does the laundry.
Billy said he stayed up and watched Scarface and asked why the gangster killed so many people.
Billy asked me what the white stuff is that comes out if a naked lady’s mouth- said he saw it in a magazine at dads (basically semen after a BJ).
Said they had mcD’s for breakfast, Wendy’s for lunch, and pizza for dinner.
He was clearly sleep deprived, as he fell asleep during our family dinner at 5:30pm.

Only write factual info you would be ok if your D judge saw. FWIW, every thing on that list is something I personally experienced while "Co-parenting", and is really the tip of the iceberg of what my then 5-yr old would tell me. I kept my smile on to my kid… and would do the same today.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3824   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8739707
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 10:01 AM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Some Dads are great Dads. I think what this topic is about is a father who’s getting all the free time of the children with no responsibility during the week, and basically not giving the Mom a chance to have any weekend time with her children.

Yeah, my kids have seen way too much at their Dads, too. Lots of fighting, arguing, door slamming. The OW first H murdered her boyfriend who was his boss/friend. Then killed himself. She used their daughter to meet her daughters friends fathers for on the side sex. Has 3 affairs in our town that I know of. Regularly flirts with her daughter’s (now 25) guy friends and has them stop over when no one else is around for one excuse after another. Really hated my sons being around her-especially since the age of consent in my state is 16- even with an adult, unless it’s a teacher or someone in that type of position. crying

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5427   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8739827
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MegMeg ( member #79978) posted at 5:31 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

I was four when my parent divorced. I never really knew why, but I knew my father was the jerk and Mom was the rock, even when her world was crumbling beneath her. I mean, who walks out a loving, faithful wife with six kids? Though we understood Mom was devastated, she never spoke ill of our father in front of us.

Much has changed in law and norms since my parents divorced in 1963. We saw our father for fun-time on Friday afternoons and a couple of weekend trips over the years. I loved him as an away-father, but not as a real parent figure.

Kids haven't change that much. I asked to move in with my father as a young teen. (Request denied.) I was probably in trouble for something! Other that that one instance, I've always believed we were raised by the better parent. And, while she had her moments, she wan't "fun". She was overwhelmed, over worked and under paid. But we were loved, safe and secure that she would never leave us.

Get some weekends and as much time with those boys as possible. Your STBXWH walked away from his family, and the kids will always see him in this light, even though they are young.

Good Riddance, wayward father.

Me: BS | Him: WS | Children: Grown | Married: 36 years

posts: 51   ·   registered: Feb. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Pulling myself out of the mire
id 8740149
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 8:41 PM on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

No not a troll. Giving my point of view on being a single dad who had to fight like hell for 50/50 custody and I’ve seen far too many posts bashing single dads.

I didn’t read the backstory, no need to. I’m sure we have one thing in common for all of us being on this site. Yes, I was also the victim of my ex wife’s infidelity. It doesn’t make me a different dad.

Obviously, you don’t want my opinion of what he may be going through trying to adjust. Believe me, I’m over the pain and hurt. I do realize though that it’s still fresh for some.

I, too, apologize if I came on too strong.

I am going to comment because I was also triggered by the 'Disney Dad' commentary.

During my custody evaluation I was taught that neither parent should criticize the parenting of the other parent to the children. If you have a complaint about the ex's parenting, then you should share it directly with your ex. Beyond that, there is no reason for both parents to have the same set of rules. Kids are smart (even little kids) and they quickly learn where each parent sets their boundaries.

As far as 'having fun nothing but fun with his kids', what's wrong with that? I have a TON of fun with my 10-year old son... and let me tell you... it's exhausting.

I work my butt off during the 10 out of 14 days when I don't have my kids so that I can devote most of my time to them during the 4 out of 14 days when I have them. I spend those four days fishing, playing catch with a football, ubering everyone all over the place, riding rollercoasters, etc. Again, it's exhausting. And, it's... if I may brag... fantastic parenting.

I would never complain about your ex spending time with your kids. NEVER.

The real 'Disney Dads' (or 'Disney Moms') spend their money on their kids, but they do not spend their time with their kids. They'll buy gifts or spend money on exotic trips (to DISNEYLAND) but they don't spend quality time with their kids.

I'll give you a counter example. My GF's ex-husband is an alcoholic. I have been with her for 3.5 years and I can count the number of times when her ex took their kids to a fun activity on one hand (actually, I can't think of ONE occasion... but she tells me that my memory is poor -- it's definitely very rare). He regularly asks her to take the kids for the night because he's too tired, too busy, or too something (truth: he wants to get his drink on). I complain that I see my kids more than he sees his kids (I have 30% custody, he has 50% custody).

Finally, as others have said, you need to get some weekend time with your kids. I also really like the 2-5-5-2 schedule that sisoon likes.

Me: BH, age 48Her: WS, age 45 (multiple EAs and PAs)D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5297   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8740209
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 3:56 AM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

Again my apologies for the Disney dad comment (also Disney moms). But thank you Barcher for explaining the situation and why it’s used.

I did not mean to imply anyone here at SI fell into that category. I certainly did not use this as a term for parents who have to fight for custody or visitation and don’t see their child(ren) often.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12339   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8740279
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Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 9:13 PM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

Jeez guys, get over yourselves. My bio-mom was the cheater in my parent's relationship, and she only had me every other weekend. TOTAL. DISNEY. MOM. No chores, no homework. Only trips and fun, and literally, lots of Disney.

Feel better?

Show us on the doll where you were hurt. duh

Many DDays. Me (BW) 46 Him (WH) 49
Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 219   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8740386
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movingonward ( new member #78412) posted at 12:05 AM on Thursday, June 16th, 2022

During custody disputes, the number one thing the courts look at where I live is which parent, if awarded custody, would foster a relationship between the kids and the non custodial parent. My ex lost hands down on that one. So it behoves anyone who wants custody to speak highly of the other parent in front of the kids. Tough task, I know.

[This message edited by movingonward at 12:06 AM, Thursday, June 16th]

posts: 17   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8740400
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Tortured ( member #52141) posted at 6:03 PM on Thursday, June 16th, 2022

For me the break down of the family and lost of 100% time with my kids was one of the most distressing aspects of being cheated on.

My kids were 8, 5 and 3 at the time of separation. The shock is hard to take after the shock of the discovery. I have to say the first year post separation I was just in survival mode and it’s hard to made decisions.

You’ve received some good advice on the split about the weekends. But you need to be thinking about your long term strategy. I understand you are a SAHM. What is your plan for work? Before you were a SAHM mum, did you have a career that you may return to? Or is there a new path that you are thinking of taking? Or are you just plain terrified of even thinking in this space still?

I worked 7 days a fortnight prior to the split. I immediately had to go to 8 days so the same hours to allow me time to do childcare drop and collect. I then hard to go full time within a year as I changed jobs. I have major care at 10 nights a fortnight. I do the hard slog. It’s exhausting… because I do all the grunt days (school days) and extra circular running around.

I love my kids but in those four days I have to recover from the 10. My house gets tidied etc, ready to go again. I’m sure you’re feeling this at the moment as you have the some number of days.

So if you want to maintain majority care and he doesn’t fight you for it, then know you can do it but do think of work. You can’t remain a SAHM… that’s the unfortunate reality now. Get that weekend off and weekend on so you also get weekend time.

Next is to sort this out quickly now. I’m not in the USA but in Australia the arrangement put in place that becomes ongoing is deemed an "agreement" if you don’t put a parenting plan in place formally. For example, we started a draft parenting plan but it never got finished. Over five years has passed. Now if my ex wants to change the custody split and I don’t agree he has to take me first to mediation and them court to fight me for it. That’s a costly exercise and therefore a deterrent. Yes courts here will agree to a 50/50 split but there’s a court backlog due to COVID so if he started now it would take another 18 mths minimum. Get the custody sorted now so the status quo of you having no weekends isn’t ongoing.

Tortured
Me: BS
Him: WH (serial)
Three kids
DD: Nov 2015 (and so much trickle truth that I would be listing a month a DDays)
Sep: Dec 2016

posts: 166   ·   registered: Mar. 6th, 2016
id 8740476
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 FuturewasStolen (original poster member #74119) posted at 12:50 AM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

EvenKeel - this is the advice that I think I was looking for. I knew it already in my head, but sometimes you need to hear it again from other people, especially those who have been through it.

Logistically and legally I have my ducks in a row. I'm working with my lawyer and I'm confident that I'll end up with a schedule that is fair and works.

Emotionally is where I was/am struggling. I will say first, I want them to have a great relationship with their dad!! I want them to spend lots of time with him and enjoy it and feel loved by him. I hope that he can still be a parent and not just a best friend, but that is out of my control. Above that though, I want him to be present and an active part of my boys' lives. I have never said anything bad about my STBXH to my boys and I never will (age appropriate). I will not put that wedge between them. I continually tell my boys how much their dad loves them and misses them. When my son comes to give me a hug when I pick him up and he tells me that he doesn't want to leave Dad's house, I tell him that Dad wishes he could stay too, but he has to go to work. It's hard, but I believe it's what's best for my kids.

I wait until they are gone to cry. It hits me hard how much I miss who I thought he was. I guess it's progress that I don't say that I miss him anymore. Even though it is hard when I see him at pick up/drop off and see him giving hugs to our kids. That's the closest we will ever get now and we will never parent together again as a couple under the same roof. But I force myself to remember that even when we were together we didn't really parent together. When he wasn't at work he was on the couch taking a nap. So I don't miss him. I miss who I built him up to be in my head. I get tired and frustrated having to be a parent to three young boys all by myself. I wonder if I'll ever have another person in my life again.

He told me that he's happier now than when we were married. I honestly don't know if he remembers loving me at all.

Me: BW (33) Him: WH (34) Married 6 years Dday 1: 2/25/20 Affair for 1 year; Started R for real: 6/1/20 Three boys together: 5, 4, 2 Dday 2: 11/28/21 Affair for 6 months Don't know how many other girls he was "just talking to"

posts: 99   ·   registered: Mar. 30th, 2020   ·   location: Michigan
id 8740999
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 3:06 AM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

My ex, with whom I share 2 children with(now adults) was the Disney parent.

He was the fun dad. At his house, they could watch scary movies(since they were 5), eat nothing but junk, no homework, didn't have to bathe,or brush their teeth. He was their friend. Not much parenting went on.

I was the mom who had rules. Who made them clean their rooms,and themselves. I was the one who said no to movies they were too young to understand, and gave them nightmares. I was the parent who cooked good meals,even though candy and hot dogs would have been easier. I was also their friend,but I parented the kids.

I went through the same thing. When they were younger, they preferred dad's. No rules, all fun. When they were teens,they always wanted to spend weekends there (but only on his court appointed weekends, of course. Because he deserved a life, you see). They had no curfew,and he would buy alcohol occasionally (I found that out years later).

He always was so sure that I was jealous of their relationship. That,by them loving him,I felt it somehow diminished my relationship with them.

He was so wrong.

They're adults now. Well into their 20s.

He's still the fun dad. They go to the movies with him. They have a once a year food tour they go on.

I have all of that as well. I'm also the only parent that they call when they are hurting. When they've had a bad day. When they need advice on anything. When my daughter was out for a jog,and thought she was being followed,it was me she called. When they are sick,or scared, they call me. When something tragic hits, it's me they turn to..and a few times..they asked me to tell their dad,because they didn't want to.

Yes, he had fun with them. And, yes, they love him very much. And he loves them very much. I'm ok with that. I want that for them. But I am not jealous of it. I'm proud of my relationship with those kids. I know them. All sides of them. I know them better than he does. And for that, I am blessed. Actually, I feel bad for him. Because I have the better relat with both of them.

So, it's ok if he's the fun dad. Trust me. That won't replace what you have with them. Not even a tiny bit.

[This message edited by HellFire at 3:09 AM, Monday, June 20th]

posts: 4513   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8741011
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 3:45 AM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

Also when setting up visitation, be sure to ask for July 4 and Halloween to be rotated as well as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. this is another reason every other weekend should be yours. Can you imagine not having your children for Halloween 3 years in a row (if it falls on Fri, Sat, Sun).

Someone said it is harder when the child doesn’t want to go to Dads and is screaming. It’s also hard when Dad stops getting them at all. My xh (who wanted custody so bad rolleyes ) sent the kids home to me after that 1st Christmas dinner bc he was going on a vacation with OW!!! He was supposed to have them 10 days!!!!
The point is.. he’s selfish!!!! He wanted the kids all the time at first bc he looked like a great Dad, then when OW wanted to travel (bc her son left the chaos to live with his dad,) then my xh stopped getting them at all!!

Just try to be a constant in your children’s life (like the Dads who are posting here). But don’t get walked over and not give yourself any weekends in the visitation schedule.

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5427   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8741015
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 6:41 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

I have all of that as well. I'm also the only parent that they call when they are hurting. When they've had a bad day. When they need advice on anything. When my daughter was out for a jog,and thought she was being followed,it was me she called. When they are sick,or scared, they call me. When something tragic hits, it's me they turn to..and a few times..they asked me to tell their dad,because they didn't want to.

Yes, he had fun with them. And, yes, they love him very much. And he loves them very much. I'm ok with that. I want that for them. But I am not jealous of it. I'm proud of my relationship with those kids. I know them. All sides of them. I know them better than he does. And for that, I am blessed. Actually, I feel bad for him. Because I have the better relat with both of them.

So, it's ok if he's the fun dad. Trust me. That won't replace what you have with them. Not even a tiny bit.

This is how the dynamic is in my situation too. It's so true! My relationship grows stronger with them and they come to me with all of life's woes and for support. I love to be there for them!

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 6:42 PM, Monday, June 20th]

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
Was Married 19 yrs
DD(19) DS(16)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl
Legally Separated 3 years, Divorcing

posts: 8299   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8741082
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 7:03 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

He always was so sure that I was jealous of their relationship. That,by them loving him,I felt it somehow diminished my relationship with them.

He was so wrong.

me too.

Whoops - pushed post too quick!

I'm a huge fan of the 2/5/2 custody (or 2/2/5 or however you want to call it).

Week1: mom Mon/tues, dad wed/thu, mom Fri/Sat/Sun
Week 2: Mom Mon/Tues (so she's just had 5 days in a row), dad Wed/thur/Fri/sat/sun(so dad got 5 days in a row)
Week 3: Mom Mon/tues, dad Wed/Thur, Mom Fri/Sat/Sun
Week 4: mom Mon/Tues, Dad Wed/Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun

you can also do a Mon/Wed and Tue/Thu, then alternate weekends, that sometimes works better bc only go 4 (vs 5) days at a stretch w/o kids (either Thu-Sun or Fri-Mon), tho I personally prefer the 2/5/2 schedule.
Week1: Mon-mom, Tues-Dad, Wed- Mom, Thu-dad, Fri-sat-sun Mom
Week2: Mon-mom, Tues-Dad, Wed-Mom, Thu-fri-sat-sun dad

[This message edited by gmc94 at 7:13 PM, Monday, June 20th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3824   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8741088
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 FuturewasStolen (original poster member #74119) posted at 12:43 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

You all are giving me so much hope and making me feel so much better!! The fact that so many of you have gone through this and come out on the other side in one piece is comforting. I know I can stay strong and be there for my boys. And I know that I will have a strong, wonderful relationship with them because I am a good, loving mother. And I also know that they can have just as good of a relationship with their dad! Bottom line, I can control myself and my relationship with them and while I can do my best to help out their dad, in the end their relationship with him is up to him. Whether its good or bad, it won't take away anything from my relationship with them. It sounds simple, but it's taken me a minute to realize all that.

Me: BW (33) Him: WH (34) Married 6 years Dday 1: 2/25/20 Affair for 1 year; Started R for real: 6/1/20 Three boys together: 5, 4, 2 Dday 2: 11/28/21 Affair for 6 months Don't know how many other girls he was "just talking to"

posts: 99   ·   registered: Mar. 30th, 2020   ·   location: Michigan
id 8741136
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CoderMom ( member #66033) posted at 4:01 AM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Some parents can make things work for their kids. THey strive to be cordial and try not to fight or argue around the kids. Some have even become friends with their ex's new spouses. It is whatever works for those involved.

posts: 299   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2018
id 8742831
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